Tuolumne County Aquatics sent four athletes to the Sierra Nevada Junior Olympic swim meet. The championship meet requires that competitors make qualification times to be eligible for the competition. The four-day trial and final event took place in Redding at the Redding Aquatic Center.
16-year-old Carina Wedel led the way for TCA, swimming in five events and making the finals in three. Placing in the top eight allows competitors to race again in the evening.
“Carina’s specialty has always been the sprint events and she didn’t disappoint,” said TCA coach Erica Waelty.
In Wedel’s best weekend event, the 50 freestyle (28.82), she achieved a new AAA time standard and finished fourth in her age group. She also finished seventh in her 100 freestyle (1:03.50) and 100 backstroke (1:14.80).
Katherine Hohne, 15, also excelled in the sprint events and made the finals in the 50 freestyle (29.50). She achieved a new AA time standard and finished seventh.
Hohne set personal records in all of her seven events throughout the weekend, but improved the most in her 100 butterfly (1:15.13), 400 freestyle (5:08.53) and 100 freestyle (1:04.51).
Ashley Nersesian, 11, and Sammie Slater, 12, also swam their best events throughout the course of the weekend and both earned the opportunity to get second swims in finals.
Nersesian qualified in her 100 butterfly (1:17.73), dropping a second and placing seventh overall for her 11-12 age group. She also improved her times in her 200 free (2:31.39), 200 IM (2:53.96) and 200 breaststroke (3:19.66).
“Slater excelled in her freestyle events because these swims require athletes to swim all different distances,” said Waelty. “It showed her versatility.
In Slater’s 400 freestyle (5:30.57), she showed strong endurance and narrowly missed the top eight in her qualifying heat. But her 50 freestyle (31.22) was the highlight of her meet, finishing seventh, qualifying for finals and achieving her first AA time standard and obtaining a new lifetime best by over three seconds.
Wedel, Hohne and Nersesian earned the opportunity to represent the Sierra Nevada at the Western Zone meet in Clovis.
Swimmers must obtain a minimum of a AA time standard and apply against other top athletes in their age group. It will be Wedel’s and Hohne’s first time qualifying for the meet